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Suspect In NJ Chase, Crash Caught In Northern Westchester

A good Samaritan helped get the officer out of the car, witnesses said. Photo Credit: Contributed photo
The crash occurred at County Road and East Madison Avenue in Cresskill. Photo Credit: GoogleMaps

TENAFLY, N.J. -- A suspect wanted in connection with a chase that ended with a Tenafly police officer hospitalized after a crash in Cresskill was arrested in Peekskill, authorities said.

Jamie Smalls, 21, spent barely 48 hours in the Bergen County Jail before a judge released him Friday under New Jersey's 2017 bail reform law, records show.

The Nov. 20 pursuit began after police were alerted to someone trying to pass a bogus check at the Chase Bank on County Road, Capt. Michael deMoncada said at the time.

Responding officers spotted a black BMW SUV with New York license plates idling on Central Avenue just across the street from the bank, deMoncada said.

Two detectives entered the bank, while patrol officers approached the vehicle, he said.

Suddenly, the car roared off, heading north on Piermont Road, deMoncada said.

Police gave chase.

The Beamer entered Cresskill, turned onto East Madison Avenue, and then headed south on County Road, where police eventually lost sight of it.

The patrol car slammed into the pole on County Road near East Madison Avenue in Cresskill, leaving it hanging over the roadway.

Witnesses said a good Samaritan assisted the officer, who deMoncada said was briefly hospitalized before being released.

The detectives who entered the bank arrested 18-year-old Jai’iris D. Crawford, 18, of Englewood on charges of attempted theft, passing a fraudulent check, and possession of a fraudulent credit card.

A search continued for Smalls, who was arrested by Tenafly police assisted by their Peekskill colleagues, deMoncada said.

He's charged with eluding a law enforcement officer.

"This is still an active investigation and additional charges may be filed," the captain said.

Anyone with information toward that end is urged to contact the Tenafly Police Detective Bureau: (201) 568-5100 .

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